No Gifts, Please – a poem for Parsha Korach (Aliyah 6)

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The Lord said to Aaron, You shall not inherit in their land, and you shall have no portion among them. I am your inheritance and portion among the children of Israel.

When I was a boy I loved presents.
The bigger the boxes the better.
Free things for me to open and treasure!
As long as it wasn’t socks, we were in good shape!

Books were also a little suspect.
They weren’t pliable like action figures
and not as obviously usable like spaceships.
The phenomenon of the non-gift gift

came along every now and then –
a donation made in my honor. (whoopee!)
A coupon where I could pick out
any book I wanted. (okay)

As time went on, and my vast collection
of objects began to take up all of the
available space I began to wonder
where I was going to put the things

people would sometimes give me.
I still loved getting them but I was running out of room.
This was exacerbated when I teamed up with
another person for a lifetime of sharing everything.

(hi, honey, if you’re reading this)
Now there were two people’s worth of things
to find room for! Ikea, despite their
best and Swedish efforts, wasn’t helping.

I began to send out party invitations with
no gifts, please – your presence is my present
embossed in the text. People felt compelled to
ignore that and I started to envy the sons of Aaron

who were not given a portion of the promised land.
Instead, God was their inheritance. That sounded
great to me! You could put God anywhere –
no shelves required!

These days physical gifts, as is the tradition
of adulthood, are limited. But if you feel so compelled
I could always use more God. Either that or
my son’s college fund is wide open.

I’ll send you the number.

These poems are offered free for your enjoyment. If you use them as part of an event, meeting, educational or liturgical setting, please consider tipping the author.

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